Many California residents have been experiencing increasing occurrences of blackouts in their area over the last several years. A number of reasons seem to be to blame; increasingly widespread wildfires, record high heat waves, potential lack of energy generation capacity, and potentially poor demand planning.
In Northern California power outages have been a regular occurrence come fire season every year as PGE shuts down sections of the grid in response to high winds and dry weather to help prevent potential wildfires caused by downed power lines. More recently in addition to the planned shutdowns due to fire hazards, the entire state has been dealing with shutdowns due to excessive heat. With more and more days reaching record high temperatures in California, the energy demand has increased in response to more and more people utilizing their air conditioning when previously it would not have been needed. With these spikes in energy use there have come rolling blackouts put in place by CAISO (California Independent System Operator, the non-profit organization that oversees California’s bulk power infrastructure). These blackouts are meant to lessen the energy demand and allow California’s utilities to meet the now lessened energy demand while still supplying power to essential services like hospitals, fire, and police.
There is also pushback that CAISO did not plan accordingly as the overall energy demand in California this year isn’t any higher than in previous years. So the question that is being posited is why can’t the infrastructure that’s currently in place meet the demand like it once did.
No matter the reasons for these planned and unplanned outages, the outcome for most Californians is that their source of energy won’t always be reliable enough to provide power 100% of the time. This has seen a huge uptick in inquiries and installations for energy storage systems in homes across California and the rest of the country where other natural disasters cause similar grid outages regularly.
If you’re looking for options to provide backup power to your home, please take a look at our Energy Storage website where we offer a full range of solutions for grid tied backup and off grid applications.